Ten more one-hour levels have been played in the LAPT Peru Grand Final Main Event, and as Day 2 concludes just 45 players remain, with the end-of-day leader someone who has known success — and made history — in Lima before.
It’s the artful Argentinian, Nacho Barbero, heading the counts, who after finding himself a card away from being eliminated shy of the cash now leads those who remain with a hefty stack of 898,000.
Seems a distant memory now, but the sun was out and the skies were blue when we first arrived for today’s noon start along with 233 players, survivors of the 692-entry field and first two Day 1 flights.
So much has happened since then — so many double-ups and knockouts — it’s no wonder those early hours seem dim.
As the field swiftly winnowed, we remarked on how far players had come to play, with 35 nationalities represented.
A few emerged to challege for the chip lead, including Thiago Nishijima and Ari Engel. While Nishijima would end the night with a healthy stack, Engel would thrive until the night’s last level before running [A][Q] into [A][A] to be eliminated just shy of Day 3.
As the dinner break approached, so, too, did the bubble or “búrbuja”, and following a few more hair-raising double-ups including one by Barbero, Roberto Larrain was the unfortunate 104th-place finisher to end one spot out of the money.
Leandro Csome was the player responsible for Larrain’s exit, and after continuing to prosper for a while thereafter — typical for “Peluca” — he’d eventually sink down the counts and be eliminated.
Csome joined others who’d visited the cashier’s desk to collect their winnings after being knocked out, including Team PokerStars Pro Christian de Leon, Team PokerStars Pro Online members Celeste Orona and Jorge Limon, and the only other two-time LAPT champion besides Barbero, Fabian Ortiz.
It was during those last levels that things sincerely started looking up for Nacho, and how. He’d build his stack up close to 1 million — about twice the nearest challengers at the time — before ending the night with 898,000.
Others bagging big stacks at night’s end included Carlos Sobenes (721,000), David Perez Bautista (575,000), Jakob Kyrian (504,000), Thiago Nishijima (500,000), and Osvaldo Lewis (480,000), with start-of-day-2 chip leader Henry Zapana keeping a spot in the top 10 by ending with 449,000. Click here for a full list of counts for the 45 players who made it to Day 3.
Barbero, of course, made history in Lima before when he won here in Season 3 to follow his victory in Uruguay four months before. That made him the first two-time Main Event champion on the LAPT, a record he enjoyed alone until the most recent event in Panama when Ortiz picked up his second.
Will Barbero make history in Lima again?
Come back mañana starting at 12 noon to see what happens next when the updates continue from LAPT Peru Grand Final.
Photography from LAPT7 Peru by Carlos Monti. Check out the start-to-finish live streaming coverage (in both Spanish and Portuguese) at PokerStars.tv. Click here for live updates in Spanish, and here for live updates in Portuguese.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.